The holiday parties are in full swing, and I know from the feedback I've been receiving from clients, it is a tough time to stick with any sort of healthy diet, especially when invited over to someone's house for dinner. But don't you worry my sweet nutrition train riders, I have a solution! Bring your own dinner.
I am not here suggesting that you brown bag it (or tote bag it as the case may be) to your next dinner engagement. What I am recommending is that you offer to bring something, and enough for everyone to enjoy. When you RSVP for the event, don't ask what you can bring, tell the invitee what you will bring, but keep it vague. As Liz, my Nutritionista In Training learned, it is better just to serve the healthful dish, make it look pretty and answer questions after it has been tasted.
And don't go baking your favourite gluten-free dessert, or famous dairy-free vegetable dip, if you are going somewhere for dinner. Make something that can serve as a meal, that is filling and balanced and nourishing and will satiate your hunger in the event that the table is ladden with cheesy, creamy, salty, fatty fatty fat holiday junk food. Even if you are the only one who eats what you bring, that's just fine because then it won't seem too rude when you ask if you can take the leftovers back home with you. See... I'm always thinking.
This is my recommendation for a perfect holiday, bring-a-long dish. It is easy to make, is a balanced source of complex carbs, fibre, and protein and despite my abhorrence of food decorated to match the holiday, it does happen to be in the just the right delightful hues. This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.
- 2 cups quinoa
- 4 cups water
- 3 Tbs honey
- ½ slivered almonds
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
- 3 cups green beans, sliced to 1 inch pieces
- 1 lemon, juiced
- salt to taste
- Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a seive, rubbing the grains slightly to rinse away bitter coating.
- Place quinoa, honey and water into a pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 15-minutes or until all water is absorbed. Once cooked, allow to sit covered for ten minutes and then fluff it up with a spoon.
- While quinoa is cooking, lightly toast slivered almonds in a frying pan or in the oven on low heat. Toast just until lightly browned, set aside and allow to cool.
- Steam green beans lightly, just until they turn bright green colour. You want them to still have a crunch.
- Once quinoa is cooked, beans are steamed, pomegranate is seeded, and almonds are toasted, toss together in a large mixing bowl, adding in lemon juice and salt.